How Travel To The US Will Be Affected After H1-B Visa Revisions

US President Donald Trump signed an executive order on June 22 suspending the entry of foreign workers. He did this by extending the pause on some Green Cards. This new order also includes the H1-B visa. This is the most sought after visa programme by Indians to gain entry into the United States as skilled immigrants. The White House took this decision to create jobs for Americans who are currently affected economically by the coronavirus pandemic. So now the question arises what are the consequences of this new proclamation? And h0w will travel to the USA be affected after the new H1-B visa revisions? Well, for this you’ll have to scroll down to read on.

H1-B Visa USA

Picture Credits: slate.com

USA Freezes H1-B And Other Work Visas To Protect American Jobs

In a move to launch his re-election bid for presidential polls scheduled in November, US President Donald Trump extended a pause on some green cards. This also includes suspension of visas or other foreign workers until the end of 2020.  The Trump administration this new revision of work visas is designed to protect US jobs during the coronavirus crisis. Earlier, Trump implemented a travel ban leading to a social media frenzy. 
H1-B Visa USA

Picture Credits: indianexpress.com

The White House states its pause on certain work visas will benefit workers in America. They currently face job losses at a record high due to the coronavirus. The government data reveals nearly 50 million Americans lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And this new order will free up to 5.25 lakh jobs.

This Is How Travel To The USA Will Be Affected

Here are some important pointers regarding the freeze of green cards and the suspension of H1-B visas for skilled workers entering the USA.

  • This order imposed holds its grounds until 31 December 2020. It blocks the issue of new H1-B visas for skilled workers like computer programmers, H2-B visas for seasonal workers including landscrapers of hospitality industry workers. It also includes the freeze for J-visas used for the purpose of internships, au pairs and summer travel programmes. The revision also blocks L-visas used for the transfer of international managers and other employees to a US office.
  • President Trump supports the order stating “We must remain mindful of the impact of foreign workers on the United States labour market, particularly in the current extraordinary environment of high domestic unemployment and depressed demand for labour.” The White House justifies this revision in the proclamation by stating the overall unemployment rate in the USA has nearly quadrupled between February and March 2020.
  • The presidential proclamation also freezes the issuance of visas for spouses of H1-B and H2-B visas.
  • However, this doesn’t affect visa-holders residing in the USA or overseas.
  • The executive order also reiterates the 60-day block on the issuance of new green cards which the USA President earlier announced on April 22, 2020.
  • The order also reiterates the 60-day block on issuing new green cards that Trump announced on 22 April 2020.

Also Read: 20 Days In New York And 3 Incidents Of Racism, The Big Apple Is No Longer My Favourite City

Criticism With The Decision Of Freezing H1-B Visas To The USA

The US Chamber of Commerce criticized this move by the government stating that it will slow down the growth of the country. US Chamber of Commerce CEO Thomas J Donahue states to media houses “Putting up a ‘not welcome’ sign for engineers, executives, IT experts, doctors, nurses and other workers won’t help our country, it will hold us back.” He further adds “Restrictive changes to our nation’s immigration system will push investment and economic activity abroad, slow growth and reduce job creation.”  American businesses including tech giants also took to social media to express their displeasure with the new executive order. When it comes to coronavirus in the USA, the death toll from COVID-19 exceeds that of 9/11 terror attacks. 

So, unfortunately, if you were planning to travel to the USA for skilled work-related purposes in the IT sector, you might have to look for other alternatives for now. If you want to go to the USA for tourism, then let’s remind you that India has plenty of alternatives. 

Sanjana Shenoy
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